Champions League T20
Bushrangers keep hopes alive
Peter Siddle (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - The Victoria Bushrangers threw the race for semi-final places in the Champions League Twenty20 wide open when they beat the Chennai Super Kings in a Super Over on Saturday.
After Victoria were all out for 162 in reply to Chennai's 162 for six, Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni gambled by bringing on off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin.
Aaron Finch took a single off the first ball before Victoria captain David Hussey slammed 22 off the next five balls, including three sixes.
Chennai could only manage 13 off medium-pacer Clint McKay.
"I was feeling pretty nervous because I knew I had to bowl the Super Over," said McKay.
"But Dave Hussey went out there and did the business which made my job a little easier."
If Chennai had won they would have made certain of qualifying for the semi-finals from Group A along with South African team, the Eastern Cape Warriors.
But Victoria's win means three teams could finish the group with three wins, if they beat the struggling Sri Lankan team Wayamba Elevens on Monday and Chennai beat the Warriors on Wednesday.
If that happens, net run rate will decide the group.
If Victoria win and the Warriors beat Chennai, it will be the Indian Premier League team that misses out.
Dhoni defended his choice of Ashwin to bowl the Super Over.
"He's got a bit of variation. He can bowl the one that goes away from the batsman and at the same time he's the one bowler who bowls more often than not for us in the first six overs."
Victoria seemed headed for an easy win when they cruised to 104 for two in the 12th over after a blistering innings by Finch, who hit 41 off 17 balls.
But they lost momentum during a tight spell by off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who took two for 17 in four overs.
Even so, Victoria were still in control with Hussey batting solidly in an innings of 51.
With all-rounder Albie Morkel out of action because of injury, Dhoni brought on part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina, who took three for 15 in his first three overs.
But he was entrusted with the last over, which yielded 11 runs, although he took another wicket to finish with four for 26.